India Tops World in AIDS Infection

According to the 2004 United Nations AIDS report, about 5.1million cases of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, have beendiagnosed in India, placing Africa second on the list of countrieswith the highest AIDS infected population.

 The “Indian Country Report” by theMinistry of Health and Family Services reported that data gatheredby the government stated, the probable source of HIV infections in86 percent of new cases was through unprotected, heterosexual sexamong adolescence.

“Misconceptions among adolescents arewidespread in every aspect of sexual and reproductive health. For example, many are unaware of the links of STIs [sexualtransmitted infections] to HIV or even the correct way of using acondom,” the report said.

Newly infected young adults are between theages of 10 and 25.

“Besides awareness about condom use, we need amass campaign to ensure people actually use condoms,” Dr. KrishanKumar Aggarwal of the Delhi Medical Association said in astatement.  “We need more education, more education, and moreeducation about condom use and HIV among young people.”

Richard G. A. Geachme of the Geneva-basedGlobal Fund to Fight Aids,

Tuberculosis and Malaria said the rate ofinfection in India is much higher because some of thecountry’s infected go undetected and untreated.

The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosisand Malaria was created to finance a turnabout in the fight againstAIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.  According to thecompany’s website, “the three diseases kill more than 6million people each year.”

In 2003, approximately 4.8 million peoplearound the world became newly

infected with HIV.  There are currently27.8 million people still living with HIV, which killed 2.9 millionin 2003 and more than 20 million since the first cases wereidentified in 1981, according to the UNAIDS 2004 Report on theGlobal AIDS Epidemic.